New ATM Increases Reader’s Likelihood Of Being Riddled With Bullets

Garth used to be able to jump out of his car and deposit his checks in under a minute. That changed when his Bank of America installed a new ATM.

Now he has to feed in each check, enter the check amount, and verify the check scan was correct. This process repeats for every check.

As the drive-up ATM is in an unseemly neighborhood, this lengthened process dramatically increases Garth’s likelihood of being riddled with bullets.

“Wow! I’m glad that Bank of America can shave off yet more customer service so they can improve the profit margins on their already ridiculous monthly fees,” writes Garth. ” Do they think that everybody lives in safe lollipop happy bank security land?”

Sounds like it’s time for Garth to find a new ATM, or a new bank.

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  1. Falconfire says:

    I have this problem with Bank of America myself, although I do not have one with the new ATM.

    When BoA took over Fleet, they decided to change the prosses of deposits. It used to be I stuck a check in the envelope, sent it through, typed in the amount it had and that was it.

    Now they want my account number on the damn thing and the amount to be written on the check the envelope and the amount in the envelope printed on it too.

    I mean seriously, why cant they just have the machine print all that info ONTO the thing when I send it through if they are so desperate to have it, regardless of the fact that Fleet had no problems not having the info on it for the 2 years I was a member.

  2. DeeJayQueue says:

    Find a new ATM. I’m happy that there’s more of a trail for depositing checks at ATMs. I’ve done it 3 times at 3 different ATMs and each time my bank (wachovia) has managed to mangle it. Either they never get the check but credit me for it anyway, and then when the check doesn’t show they yoink the money back out, bouncing several items and then saying “not our fault” when I call to bitch about the NSF fees, or they get the check but it’s been eaten or mangled or gotten wet from the machine and they can’t process it.

    Moral:
    Don’t stick a check inside a machine and walk away. Hand the check to a real person behind a real counter so that there’s accountability. If your bank charges you for the convenience of seeing a teller, change banks or get direct deposit.

  3. Magister says:

    Actually, I really like the new BoA machines. It was annoying to have to fill in an envolope. Now the check is imaged on my reciept so I have proof I deposited it.

    I live in a better neighborhood, so I don’t have to worry about scary people around my ATM, and I deposit from the car… and I am strapped.

  4. Hawkins says:

    There are a LOT of banks in the world. Competition is good. Bank managers are measured, in part, on how many customers leave in a huff, sending letters .

    So: instead of complaining on blogs (which is good, because it’s entertaining, but probably not productive), take your issue to the manager of the branch where you opened the account. Tell them that you’re thinking of taking your business elsewhere, and then give him or her a chance to resolve the issue.

    If they won’t, then find a bank that doesn’t treat you like shit and switch to it. There are plenty of them.

  5. I also find the new ATM machines to be pretty great. Love having the image of the check on my deposit receipt. Then again, I also live in the fairly safe Virginia side of the DC burbs so I’m not fearing gunshots while making my deposit.

  6. Hellblazer says:

    Yeah, I think Garth’s best bet is to either find a new bank, or if he for some reason =has= to stay with BoA, find a new ATM. Going to a location that’s out of your way isn’t really that much of an inconvenience if the alternative is catchin’ a hot one.

  7. Ass_Cobra says:

    This just strikes me as pointless bitching. Two people have pointed out the benefits (imaged copy of check on deposit receipt) and one has shown the downside of doing it another way (mangled check, he said she said, bank yoinks funds, NSF, misery, reputation lost etc.).

    The odds of the tipster being jacked at the ATM do not linearly increase with the amount of time he spends there. Doubling the amount of time you spend at the atm doesn’t double the odds of you being robbed.

    The benefits for customers of this new system far outweigh the increased jeopardy to Garth. You can’t blame BofA for putting an ATM in a shitty neighborhood and you can’t make them responsible for your safety.

  8. thatabbygirl says:

    Not only can you not blame BofA for putting an ATM in a shitty neighborhood, you should actually applaud them. “Shitty neighborhoods” (meaining low-income, high-crimte, etc, areas) are often really underserved by ATMs, banks, etc. This forces this community to go to check cashing outlets and pay 5-10% commission on each check cashed. For BofA to have an ATM there signals, to me, a commitment to making banking available in traditionally underserved areas.

    Perhaps this problem would be better addressed by talking to local BofA manager about increased safety/security at this particular ATM rather than the retooled ATM procedures?

  9. Might also want to look into Direct Deposit…or cold hard cash…cash has the added benefit of being tax free ^_^.

  10. djwoodyphl says:

    Considering until now you couldn’t make a deposit into an ATM without fearing it would get sucked into outer space, I can’t find any reason why this person should be complaining about the new BoA services. Unless you is be livin’ in da ghetto, you should see this as one less opportunity to have to visit your local branch, which is normally full of surly women who are unbothered by your presence, and would rather talk about their weekends than actually process your transaction.

    If you prefer that sort of experience, I’m sure Bank of America will be glad to see your smiling face in their branches.

  11. djwoodyphl says:

    Considering until now you couldn’t make a deposit into an ATM without fearing it would get sucked into outer space, I can’t find any reason why this person should be complaining about the new BoA services. Unless you is be livin’ in da ghetto, you should see this as one less opportunity to have to visit your local branch, which is normally full of surly women who are unbothered by your presence, and would rather talk about their weekends than actually process your transaction.

    If you prefer that sort of experience, I’m sure Bank of America will be glad to see your smiling face in their branches. Maybe if you bring those ladies cupcakes, they might even give a cursory smile in your direction while talking about their weekend, and then take your check.

  12. Scott Kidder says:

    or find a new place to live!

  13. billhelm says:

    These ATM’s are the result of the check21 check clearing act which allows banks to destroy original checks and replace it with an imaged copy.

    Wells Fargo and other banks are also experimenting with them.

    In theory it should provide faster access to funds, because in the process of scanning the check, the info is lifted off of it. Under the old method, the check was not actually deposited into your account until verified by the bank branch or other centralized processing facility.

  14. Unless you is be livin’ in da ghetto, you should see this as one less opportunity to have to visit your local branch

    Isn’t that his complaint, that he can’t do this at the ATM now because it’s a bad neighborhood? It’s actually one more opportunity to go to the branch, not one less.

    crayonshinobi’s advice of direct deposit is probably his best bet since he won’t need to drive/bus/whatever out of his way to find a new bank or ATM.

  15. So I work Monday through Saturday during business hours, and don’t work anywhere near a Bank of America machine. I do direct deposit for paychecks and such, but I’ve always got some random freelance checks to deposit….sometimes 5 or 6, and that takes a chunk of time with their new system. For cash, you also have to feed the deposit in bill by bill. I can’t think of any locations within 5 miles of my home in East Atlanta where I would feel safe hanging out for 5 minutes feeding cash and checks into the machine. I never had a problem with putting my deposits in an envelope before…Bank of America was perfect for somebody like me who can’t make it into a branch office during the day. Now, I’m not so sure. I certainly see the upside of their new technology, but I don’t think the benefits outweigh the risks.

    Garth

  16. RumorsDaily says:

    I’ve never had any problems with lost checks when deposited into ATMs.

  17. Gesualdo says:

    “Sounds like it’s time for Garth to find a new ATM, or a new bank.”

    … or to stop giving his money to for-profit institutions altogether by finding and joining a good credit union.

  18. I can’t think of any locations within 5 miles of my home in East Atlanta where I would feel safe hanging out for 5 minutes feeding cash and checks into the machine.

    Are there any other banks or credit unions where you live? Maybe someone keeps extended banking hours.

    I know I’ve heard of a service that allows you to deposit checks from home but I can’t remember what it’s called. Also, there are places that allow you to deposit checks by mail.

  19. Sorry, I just don’t sign on to the idea that this is better for any reason.

    They get to destroy the check after scanning it? Whoopee. If it’s like the scanning they do to my cancelled checks, you’ve got reasons to be worried.

    Yay – everything’s automated, so there “can’t be a mistake” – like the time a BofA ATM mangled my multi-check deposit and shut down. Two weeks later, after borrowing money from my soon-to-be-wife to pay my rent, BofA acknowledged that they’d finally recovered the checks and posted them to my account. How big of them.

    So, what if these Windows-based ATMs throw a bluescreen while they’re scanning your hard-earned checks?

    Just like voting machines, a paper trail is a must in today’s society with financial institutions – especially mistake-prone BofA.

    And for BofA boosters – how’d you like paying for the nice new color ATMs that take longer per transaction and show ads during the extended transaction time? What a great benefit, hunh?

  20. Martin says:

    Garth could also consider signing up with a bank that allows deposits to be made by mail, UPS, or Federal Express.

    Most internet based banks and investment accounts (i.e., Fidelity, Etrade, Netbank, Everbank) provide free, postage paid deposit envelopes. Just put your checks into the envelope and mail.

    Netbank has a system that allows you to make deposits using a free UPS envelope. You get a tracking number when you drop the envelope off at your local UPS store, and the bank usually posts the deposit the next day.

    State Farm Bank (affiliated with the insurance company) provides free Federal Express labels which you can use to FedEx your deposits to them.

    One bank that I know of is now allowing you to make deposits electronically, by scanning your checks and submitting the images online. However, that feature is only available to certain military affiliated customers and the bank is not accepting customers unless they are military affiliated. Assuming that the feature works well, I would expect other banks to allow it within the next year. In fact, I’d bet that this is what the BofA ATM is doing with his checks now…

  21. Ass_Cobra says:

    Cajun, I fail to see your point:

    Just like voting machines, a paper trail is a must in today’s society with financial institutions – especially mistake-prone BofA.

    You do get a scanned copy printed on your receipt, so you actually do have a paper trail. Unlike the previous system. I also fail to see how the new system increases the likelyhood of

    like the time a BofA ATM mangled my multi-check deposit and shut down. Two weeks later, after borrowing money from my soon-to-be-wife to pay my rent, BofA acknowledged that they’d finally recovered the checks and posted them to my account. How big of them.

    your above referenced incident occuring. In fact shouldn’t processing the checks one at a time eliminate incidents (multi-check transactions getting zappo-d) from happening? I just don’t get where you’re going. I’m not a BofA booster by any stretch (in fact my initial tip to this site was on the BofA practice of structuring transaction timing to max out overdraft fees), but you can’t blame them for everything.

  22. synergy says:

    I’m a current BoA customer and I have no idea what you all are talking about. Not that I have to deposit anything except my sad monthly check from work and that’s done Direct. But still, I do go to the ATM to withdraw money and I see no changes in the machines. They still seem to have the same system where you stick your cash, check, whatever in a single envelope and feed it into the ATM. *shrug*

  23. bravo says:

    I’m a huge fan of the new BoA ATM. It was far more annoying in the past when you would show up at an ATM and find that there are zero deposit envelopes left. Then you would go to the ATM about a mile away and find that there are zero deposit envelopes left, etc., etc.

  24. zombiesitcom says:

    Atlanta is one of the test markets for these new BOA ATMs. I think they’re great. The check scans on my receipt give me peace of mind and the new cash deposit thingy doesn’t just take one bill, it takes 40 at a time. Don’t blame the bank because you live in a bad neighborhood.